The falling activists

In Chechnya today, human-rights activist Natalya Estemirova was found shot in the head:
Estemirova was a lawyer who documented abductions, torture, and other human rights abuses in Chechnya. She worked with reporters, including murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya, and other human rights groups.

Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch said Estemirova's work was vital to uncovering abuses in Chechnya. She said Estemirova "was one of the main people who documented the most terrible crimes during the second Chechen war: torture, extrajudicial executions, abductions.

Meanwhile, two Azeri pro-democracy activists have been detained on hooliganism charges after being viciously beaten while eating in a restaurant with some friends. The American embassy appears to be protesting, but to little avail.